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Opinion | Behind the Scenes of the Events of Jan. 6 | tnewst.com Press "Enter" to skip to content

Opinion | Behind the Scenes of the Events of Jan. 6

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To the Editor:

Re “He Drafted Plan to Keep Trump in White House” (front page, Oct. 3) and “Jan. 6 Was Worse Than It Looked” (editorial, Oct. 3):

Regarding my advice to Vice President Mike Pence in the days before the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6: Although I take issue with some statements in the front-page news article, its most important point, one backed up by very thorough reporting, is that I did not recommend “that Mr. Pence could simply disregard the law and summarily reject electors of certain key battleground states,” as your editorial contends.

Rather, as your own reporters noted, I told Mr. Pence that even if he did have such power, “it would be foolish for him to exercise it until state legislatures certified a new set of electors for Mr. Trump.”

That honest bit of reporting contradicts not only your editorial but also myriad other news accounts to the same effect.

John C. Eastman
Upland, Calif.
The writer is a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute.

To the Editor:

Reading the excellent but frightening editorial “Jan. 6 Was Worse Than It Looked,” I was not surprised that the former president wanted to stay in power despite losing a fair election. What was staggering was the number of people who wanted to help him.

Jana Goldman
Honor, Mich.

To the Editor:

Your editorial hit on a serious issue that worries us all, including your many friends in Australia. An independent electoral commission manages, scrutinizes, counts the votes and announces the results of all state and federal elections in Australia.

No one ever doubts its word, and challenges are resolved by it quickly and based on evidence that is made publicly available, and only very rarely end up in the courts. The commission also draws electoral boundaries, according to statutory formulas, so there’s no possibility of gerrymandering.

We find the heavy politicization of your system puzzling.

Nuncio D’Angelo
Sydney, Australia

To the Editor:

In “He Drafted Plan to Keep Trump in White House,” John Eastman’s influence is attributed to giving President Trump “what he wanted to hear.”

The former F.B.I. director William Webster gave me the most important advice on leadership when I was a White House fellow serving as one of his special assistants. As the only nonlawyer on his executive staff, I was unsure about my job description until he explained, “Your job is to make sure I hear things people think I don’t want to hear or that they don’t want me to hear.” Within a day, it was clear what that entailed.

I have shared that advice, and it has proved valuable for countless leaders. Mr. Eastman demonstrates the risks of disregarding it.

Merrie Spaeth
Plano, Texas

To the Editor:

Is there a chance that in the 2024 election all the presidential candidates would sign a pledge that if they lose the election they will not try to overthrow the government?

William Dodd Brown
Chicago

To the Editor:

Re “Yazidis Know Some of Their Missing Are Alive, as Captives” (news article, Oct. 4):

As a Yazidi, I read this piece with a heavy heart, and I ache to do more for these women, children and families. I have been to the camps in Duhok, in northern Iraq, and met with many families hoping for their loved ones to return, but they can barely afford daily necessities, let alone ransoms.

I believe that what we need is a task force, comprising Iraqi authorities, U.N. agencies and civil society organizations, formed with the sole goal of searching for and rescuing Yazidi captives of the Islamic State.

Opportunities for asylum must be expanded and support given for their recovery. Every necessary resource should be committed to ensuring that survivors can live in freedom and safety for the first time in years.

Seven years is an unthinkable amount of time to be held in sexual slavery. We must act. The world must act to rescue women and children from captivity.

Abid Shamdeen
Washington
The writer is executive director of Nadia’s Initiative, which advocates for survivors of sexual violence.

To the Editor:

Re “Report Describes Abuse of Minors Permeating Catholic Church in France” (news article, Oct. 6):

Clerical celibacy in the Catholic Church wasn’t imposed until the 12th century. How many more of these stories do we have to read until the church acknowledges that it made a dire, if well-intentioned, mistake by instituting that policy?

Kate Rose
Houston

To the Editor:

Re “This Is How America’s Richest Families Stay That Way,” by Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein (Opinion guest essay, nytimes.com, Sept. 24):

Mr. Kaiser-Schatzlein states that the ultrarich could pass on stock bought for $1 but worth $100 at death, and that the inheritors would pay tax only on gains above the $100. While that is accurate, it neglects to mention that instead of paying the federal capital gains rate of 20 percent on the $99 gain, the estate would pay the estate tax of 40 percent on the full $100 value (since we are discussing the ultrarich, the $11.7 million exclusion for the estate tax would be a rounding error).

This omission gives the misleading impression that the inheritance would be untaxed, when in fact it would be taxed at a higher rate.

Peter Knell
Pasadena, Calif.
The writer is managing director of an investment management company.


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